Why Clean Eating Didn't Cure Your Breakouts (And the Solution)
Intro: You’ve tried cutting out processed foods, refined sugar and refrain from eating out, yet, despite your real food diet, your breakouts remain stubbornly stuck to your face. You may have even tried adding in a few random supplements or gone green-smoothie crazy like your friends but, your skin doesn’t seem to acknowledge your hard efforts, as you still see many pimples and red spots in the mirror each morning. What am I doing wrong you ask? I’ve cut out all the “bad stuff” so, shouldn’t my skin automatically clear up? What am I still missing?
While clean diets are a great start to a healthy lifestyle and an important foundation to good skincare, the average person is unaware that a “real food” lifestyle is not generic and the same for everyone. The term bio-individuality means that everyone has different nutritional problems and needs and therefore, the solution for curing your breakouts for good, is based on your own person needs. Let’s take a look at a couple of important areas that are not usually mentioned when “clean-eating” is discussed.
Food sensitivities: Even in clean, whole-food diets, people will sometimes encounter food sensitivities. This is why not all foods work well for everyone. And this is why breakouts can sometimes occur in relation to food sensitivities, as inflammation is a reaction to the undesirable substance in the body.
In more serious cases, some people may have lots of food sensitivities due to leaky gut or other digestive problems and therefore, need to work on healing their gut, while keeping on a strict dietary protocol.
Internal major systems needing support: The body has certain major processes which are really foundational in how they affect us so much in symptoms, overall quality of life, and especially, skincare. For many people, one or more of these systems needs nutritional support, usually due to either a history of eating processed foods, or the affects of our toxin and stress-filled lifestyles. Some of these major processes include:
Digestion includes not just the stomach but also the small and large intestines. Various problems in the small and/or large intestines due to flora imbalance and bacterial overgrowth, like h.pylori, affect the proper digestion process and assimilation of nutrients in to the body. Low stomach acid is another common digestive problem that causes symptoms such as heartburn and acid reflux-this is because strong stomach acid is needed to breakdown all our foods so our body can access the nutrients. It doesn’t matter how nutritious the food you’re eating is, you still won’t get all the benefits from it if you can’t digest it properly.
The liver/gallbladder is the detox system of the body, meaning that it plays an important role in healthy skin. Breakouts around a woman’s period are usually a result of the liver not being able to properly detox the excess hormones. Lastly, the gallbladder also plays a role in digestion as it breaks down and metabolizes fats.
Blood Sugar Balance
Blood Sugar Balance is often tied to the adrenals which can also affect our moods and sleep as two of their major functions are reacting to stress and releasing the hormone cortisol.
A clean diet should include plenty of quality fats which help keep blood sugar balanced throughout the day as well as contributing to healthy hormones. A clean diet should alsofrom containing too many "natural sweetners and excessive fruit intake to help balance blood sugar. However, if diet is not enough then your hormones may still need additional nutritional support. Since our hormones not only affect our moods but also our skin, it is important to delve deeper to find the root of the cause.
Nutritional deficiencies and imbalances:
Due to soil-depletion and the affects of our modern lifestyles, diet is often not enough to give us all the important vitamins and minerals that we need. Take zinc and magnesium for example. Zinc is important for stomach acid production and for healing in the body. However, if a person is already low in zinc, it will take a while for them to get enough to through foods alone to be sufficient, and it is also more expensive-meaning that using quality supplements is generally the better option. Magnesium on the other hand is something that is used by the body whenever we encounter stress, making it important to use topical methods such as magnesium gel, lotion, or magnesium flake baths often to supplement the body.
A “clean eating” or even Paleo lifestyle is a great start to getting clear, beautiful skin and getting health for life. However, people make the mistake of thinking that just eating whole foods will give them all the nutrients that they need. They also miss the subtle yet important aspect of bio-individuality, aka, everyone is a separate individual with different nutritional needs. Three ways bio-individuality affects us are:
- Food sensitivities, which cause an inflammatory response in the body
- Internal problems that play major roles in how our skin looks and how we feel and that need specific nutritional support, e.g. hormones, blood sugar balance, liver/gallbladder (detoxing), and digestion.
- Nutritional deficiencies, which are difficult to address solely through diet alone.
Addressing these factors with proper assessment by a Nutritional Therapist will give you a targeted approach to curing your breakouts for good and give you the healthy skin you deserve.